Monday, June 17, 2024

New entry protocol to Belize; no COVID-19 vaccination or travel insurance required

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As restrictions for COVID-19 placed on travelers visiting and leaving Belize are dropped, the Government of Belize continues to make visiting the Jewel easier and more efficient. The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) advised on July 14th about changes regarding the previous mandatory health and travel insurance and vaccination requirements.

As per the official BTB note, the once required health and travel insurance proposed by the government when visiting Belize is now optional. However, the government encourages it for protection to avoid incurred medical and non-medical emergency expenses. Anyone traveling to Belize who would still like to purchase the policy to enjoy such health and travel protection can access it through this link https://www.belizetravelinsurance.com/.

No need for proof of vaccination

The other adjustment announced by the BTB involves COVID-19 vaccination requirements. Before July 14th, travelers were required to show proof of vaccination to enter the country or provide a negative test within a specific time frame. This requirement is now a thing of the past as proof of vaccination is no longer required to enter Belize at any official border point.

These adjustments are outlined in the recent Statutory Instrument No. 100 of 2022 of the public health (Reform) (Prevention of the Spread of Infectious Disease) (COVID-19) Regulations. This SI also details the approved testing institutions for COVID-19 in the country for those interested in getting tested. The SI also documents restrictions on the importation of home test kits and equipment, the requirements to validate home test kits, and the penalties.

Despite these recent adjustments, the government cautions that in light of the BA.2 and BA.5 sub-variants in Belize, vaccines remain the best protection against severe disease and death from the virus.

Tourists must stay at BTB Gold Standard hotels

The only regulation for foreign tourists/visitors is booking their stay at a BTB-approved hotel. This program started on October 1, 2020, when Belize re-opened the Philip Goldson International Airport. The BTB launched the ‘Tourism Gold Standard’ certification for hotels across the country to enhance the tourism industry’s health and safety standards. Hotels, in particular, were encouraged to sign up for the program to operate and offer their guests a safer environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of these establishments in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye initially joining the program included Victoria House Resort and SpaPortofino Beach ResortRamon’s Village ResortPlaya de SalaGrand Caribe Property Management Ltd, Cayo Espanto Island ResortEl Pescador Lodge and Villas, Drift InnEscape Away BelizePlantacion de SueñosSandbar Beachfront Hostel, Xanadu Island Resort, and Casa Nova Cabañas Ltd.

The COVID-19 pandemic is not over, and the public is encouraged to do their part in preventing the spread of this virus. To stay COVID-19 free, everyone is advised to practice social distancing, use face masks whenever necessary, continue washing their hands, and get vaccinated and boosted.

 

 

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